Atwater-Donnelly

Where the Wild Birds Do Whistle

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Bridging out into slightly more original material and spoken word poetry, as Aubrey Atwater has released books of poetry in addition to her musical releases, Where the Wild Birds Do Whistle is a mixed bag of material. Their originals tend to overreach at times, settling on rather stilted socially conscious narratives and overly picturesque imagery. Still, to their credit, they can make their original material sound as if it truly were as old as the songs in their repertoire, but as always, their skill at recasting traditional material accounts for the album's best moments. In particular, tracks like "Pretty Saro" and "Dabbling in the Dew," both of which were learned from dulcimer master Jean Ritchie, find them at the absolute height of their talents, as they present the understated grandeur of the simple folk melodies with all the attention to detail due them. All in all, a convincingly accomplished set that would be a bit stronger if a few more traditional cuts were included.

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